What Symptoms Indicate a Food Allergy?

Some people have a mild allergic reaction toward ingesting certain foods while others may experience very serious symptoms. These symptoms can manifest within minutes of eating a food and in some cases it may take from 2 hours up to 2 days to experience an allergic reaction.

What Symptoms Indicate A Food Allergy

Allergic symptoms effect on your digestive system

A person who is having an allergic reaction may experience itching in the mouth and throat (as soon as contact with the allergen takes place), stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Although very rare, rectal bleeding may also occur.

Allergic symptoms effect on your skin

Symptoms that appear on the skin include hives, redness, swelling and atopic dermatitis (intense itching and red, raised rash). These reactions are very common among children.

Allergic symptoms effect on your respiratory system.

The most common signs of an allergic reaction are wheezing, itchy, stuffy, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing.
Some of these symptoms can be relieved by taking antihistamines, however most severe reactions can quickly progress into an anaphylactic seizure and escalates into a medical emergency.

If left untreated some symptoms can quickly become life threatening.

Initial symptoms are:

  • itchy eyes,
  • nausea
  • hives
  • itchy skin or which may look like a rash
  • a tingling feeling on the lips or tongue

Severe symptoms include:

  • pale skin,
  • tightness in the throat,
  • difficult breathing,
  • feeling of a lump in the throat,
  • wheezing or coughing.
  • swollen tongue,
  • feeling of a blocked passageway
  • choking
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • weak pulse

The severity of the symptoms varies from one person to another and although avoiding the food substance that is causing your food allergy is the first obvious step, understanding what symptoms indicate a food allergy will increase your understanding.

If you experience mild symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor, allergist or immunologist at your earliest convenience.

If you experience any of the severe symptoms mentioned above, you will require immediate medical attention and an injection of epinephrine. Failure to address these symptoms can result to unconsciousness or even death.

Read our article: “How To Respond To Anaphylactic Shock” to learn the correct emergency treatment for Anaphylaxis.

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